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Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter

Representing the 1st District of New Hampshire

Shea-Porter Introduces Corporations Are Not People Amendment

March 16, 2017
Press Release
Constitutional Amendment Attacks Flood of Dark Money Unleashed by Citizens United Decision

WASHINGTON, DC— Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) today introduced the Corporations are Not People Amendment, a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that people, not corporations, are entitled to First Amendment-protected political speech. The Amendment would reverse the catastrophic effects of 2010’s Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which has allowed dark money to flood our elections and drown out Americans’ voices in our democracy.

“Getting dark money out of politics is the necessary first step toward restoring trust in elections and getting our government working for the people instead of for corporate interests,” said Shea-Porter. “With the Corporations Are Not People Amendment, we can stem the flood of money unleashed by Citizens United and make sure our government is working for real people instead of big business.”

Shea-Porter’s amendment has earned endorsements from government accountability advocacy groups including Common Cause, People for the American Way, and Free Speech for People.

“Common Cause commends Congresswoman Shea-Porter and the many other Members of Congress who have championed a Constitutional amendment to help reduce the influence of big money in politics,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for Common Cause. “This amendment would help ensure that the voices of all Americans can be heard in our democracy even if they can’t hire a lobbyist, make a large campaign contribution, or start a super PAC.”

The Corporations Are Not People Amendment is the first bill Shea-Porter is introducing as part of her People Not Profits initiative to root out corporate influence in Washington. In addition to getting money out of politics, Shea-Porter will tackle lobbying loopholes that currently allow revolving-door influence, and work to strengthen prohibitions against conflicts of interest so we can make sure government officials aren’t using their position for personal profit.

 

BACKGROUND

  • The Corporations are Not People Constitutional Amendment would allow Congress to restrict political spending by corporations as well as other incorporated entities, such as limited liability companies (LLCs).
  • Under current interpretations of the Constitution, corporations and other incorporated entities can give unlimited contributions to Super PACs, which can then spend unlimited funds in support of candidates.
  • This amendment would allow Congress to prohibit entities that hide their donors, such as LLCs, from making political expenditures, and to place limits on Super PAC spending or to eliminate Super PACs’ ability to make political expenditures.